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Pitch range use in speech of Welsh/English bilinguals: Production Study. Mikhail Ordin 1,2 Ineke Mennen 1 (1 Bangor University, Centre for Research on Bilingualism 2 Moscow Academy of Humanities and Technology ). Level (Ladd 1996) Register (Cruttenden 1997)

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pitch range use in speech of welsh english bilinguals production study

Pitch range use in speech of Welsh/English bilinguals:Production Study

Mikhail Ordin1,2

Ineke Mennen1

(1 Bangor University, Centre for Research on Bilingualism

2 Moscow Academy of Humanities and Technology)

pitch range
Level (Ladd 1996)

Register (Cruttenden 1997)

Overall height of speaker’s voice

Span (Ladd 1996)

Key (Cruttenden 1997)

Excursion size (‘tHart, Collier, Cohen 1990)

Range of frequencies covered by the speaker

Pitch range
slide3

Hypothetical averaged data for 4 target points in three speaker's pronunciation of the English declarative sentence I HAVE BEEN THERE BEFORE. The contours are impressionistically similar, despite the differences in level and span

slide4

Are overall pitch

modifications automatic

or consciously controlled?

anatomical and physiological factors determine pitch range
Anatomical and physiological factors determine pitch range
  • Size of the larynx and lung volume
  • Decrease in transglottal pressure towards the end of the utterance
  • More difficult adjustments for upward pitch change than for downward pitch change
  • Increase of vocal folds tension on high vowels

- Higher subglottal pressure before closure release on voicelss plosives than on voiced plosives

slide6

Anatomically-conditioned modifications can become meaningful and even undergo grammaticalization and express linguistic function (Ohala 1983, 1984; Lieberman 1967)

biological codes gussenhoven 2004
Biological codes (Gussenhoven 2004):

1) Frequency code (Ohala 1983, 1996)

Source: size of the speech organs

What is affected: overall level

Paralinguistic meaning: submissive aggressive; big-small; friendly-hostile; high status-low status; certain-uncertain

Linguistic meaning: Question vs. statement

biological codes gussenhoven 20041
Biological codes (Gussenhoven 2004):

2) Effort code

Source: energy

What is affected: span

Paralinguistic meaning: affected-non affected speech

Linguistic meaning: focus marking

biological codes gussenhoven 20042
Biological codes (Gussenhoven 2004):

3) Production code

Source: lung volume

What is affected: downtrends

Linguistic meaning: finality vs continuity, old vs new information

slide10
Diehl (1991) and Kingston and Diehl (1994) argued that at least partially pitch modifications are under speaker’s conscious control and can be used to enhance perceptual effect.
language specific vs universal
Language-specific vs universal
  • HTR (e.g. Grabe, 2004)
  • Hadding-Koch and Stuttert-Kennedy, 1964
  • Gonnum, 1983
  • Brouwer, 1989
  • Ohara, 1992
  • Eckert, Laver, 1994
  • Downing, 1996
  • Gibbon, 1998
  • Makarova, 1999
  • Mennen, 2007, 2008
pitch range in bilingual speech
Pitch range in bilingual speech

Mennen 2007, 2008, 2009 as the starting point of the current research.

Mennen et.al. found that:

  • The difference in pitch range between German and English monolingual speakers is mostly in span.
  • L2 native German speakers of English use pitch range in English differently from native Brits. German manipulate level.
  • In perception the cue to Englishness for the Brits is span, and for the German is level.
simultaneous vs sequencial bilinguals
Sequential

Pitch range differs between L1 and L2

Pitch range in L2 of sequential bilinguals differs from that in monolingual speech by native speakers

Are we dealing with cross-language differences or cross-context differences?

Simultaneous

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Simultaneous vs Sequencial Bilinguals
research question 1
Research Question 1:

Do Welsh-English bilinguals realize pitch range differently when they use different languages?

research question 2
Research Question 2:

If so, what dimension(s) of pitch range (i.e. level/span) is/are language-specific?

research question 3
Research Question 3:

Which strategy or strategies do the bilinguals use to make the difference in pitch range?

subjects
Subjects:

Adult bilinguals

Acquired both languages simultaneously

Used both languages daily

Are fluent readers of technical and colloquial styles

19 speakers: 5 men and 12 women

material
Material:

Controlled speech, neutral sentences and a brief technical text on history of Welsh, recorded at 44kHz, 16 bit, in WAV PCI formatusing condenser microphone. Reading and recording was done in a quiet place.

20 sentences, 40-45 tone units per language per speaker.

labelling and measuring span
Labelling and measuring:Span
  • Pitch span was determined as the difference in semitones between the average of the speaker’s peaks and L% tones.

If creaky voice was used for final lowering, the measurement was taken immediately prior to the creaky interval.

labelling and measuring level
Labelling and measuring: Level

Three measures for pitch level were defined:

  • 1) average of F0 peaks,
  • 2) average of L%, and
  • 3) average of means on each tone unit.
analysis
Analysis
  • Wilcoxon Signed Rank
  • Data for males and females processed separately to consider the possible effect of gender

(where assumptions for paired t-tests were met, parametric tests were performed, but not reported here for consistency. Parametric tests showed greater effect size).

results 14 females
RESULTS: 14 females

Span is wider in Welsh than in English

(z=-3.17; p=0.002; r=0.6)

The median score increased from M=7.68 for English to M=8.92 for Welsh

The average difference is 1.41ST

results 14 females1
RESULTS: 14 females

Level is higher in Welsh than in English if defined as F0 peaks

(z=-3.23; p=0.001; r=0.61)

The median score increased from M= 257.14 for English to M=274.48 for Welsh

The average difference is 1.4ST

results 14 females2
RESULTS: 14 females

Level is not significantly different if defined as F0 on L% tones or as mean F0 on tone units.

results 5 males
RESULTS: 5 males

Span is 0.6ST wider in Welsh than in English, but the difference is n/s (p=0.225)

results 5 males1
RESULTS: 5 males

Level is 0.4ST higher in Welsh than in English if defined as F0 peaks, but the difference is n/s, p=0.225

results 5 males2
RESULTS: 5 males

Level is not significantly different if defined as F0 on L% tones or as mean F0 on tone units.

summary of results so far
Females

Pitch range differs between Welsh and English

Difference is in span

Difference is in F0max

No sign difference in F0means and F0min

Males

Pitch range does not differ between Welsh and English

FEW SPEAKERS?????

Summary of results so far:
strategies
Strategies:
  • increasing F0 peaks in Welsh (or decreasing F0 peaks in English);
  • using creaky voice in Welsh for final lowering (or cancelling creaky voice in English);
  • increasing F0 means in Welsh (or decreasing F0 means in English);
  • decreasing F0 minimums in Welsh (or increasing F0 minimums in English).
are strategies independent
Are strategies independent?

ANOVA:

Hypothesis: the more strategies the speaker uses, the smaller the different between F0max in Welsh and English expected.

Dependent var: difference in F0max in Welsh and in English

Independent var 1: number of strategies (2 levels – 1 and 3 different strategies employed)

Independent var 2: speaker (6 levels)

Outcome: no sign influence. Trade-off? Not enough data to say for sure.

what causes these differences
What causes these differences?
  • Social and culture-rooted.
  • Language system (in Welsh I heard more rising tones while in English there were more falling tones).

Peculiarities of speech perception. What are we listening to when we evaluate span and level – overall register or the maximums?

further research
Further research

I

Difference in pitch range as a social marker

II

Acquisition of pitch range by sequential and simultaneous bilinguals

III

Perception of pitch range